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Back on April 8, 2010 a man named Mark Hogancamp was assaulted by a group of five men outside of a local bar. The beating he recieved was so severe that he wound up being in a coma for nine days and suffered permanent brain damage and almost complete memory loss. Unable to afford the proper therapy and rehabilitation, he began to explore the world through his own imagination and the result was Marwencol, 1/6-scale World War II-era Belgian town that Hogancamp built in his backyard and populated with characters from his own life - including his friends, relatives, and even the teens who attacked him. In 2010 filmmaker Jeff Malmberg believed the story to be fascinating enough to warrant its own documentary, and now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, director Robert Zemeckis is going to turn it into a full fledged feature.
In addition to following the fascinating way in which Hogancamp worked to repair his mind, the documentary also followed the story as the photographs of Marwencol are discovered and published, leading the "artist" to become a figure in the New York art scene. I would highly recommend watching the trailer below, as its some truly fascinating subject matter:
Caroline Thompson, who previous credits include Edward Scissorhands, The Addams Family, and The Nightmare Before Christmas is handling the screenplay while Universal is backing the project. The feature will reportedly "blend fantasy and reality," much like how Hogancamp's mind works.
After years of exploring the possibilities of motion capture technology, making movies like The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol, this will be Zemeckis' second feature after returning to the world of live action filmmaking. Last year he began this comeback with Flight, which received a largely positive critical response and Oscar nominations for both Best Actor (Denzel Washington) and Best Original Screenplay (John Gatins).
Whether or not the movie will end up being Zemeckis' next project remains a bit of a mystery. Late last year it was reported that the director was interested in re-teaming with Forrest Gump/Cast Away/Polar Express star Tom Hanks on the sci-fi story Major Matt Mason, but he the filmmaker is also attached to helm both the young adult novel adaptation Chaos Walking and a possible Who Framed Roger Rabbit sequel. Personally, I really hope Marwencol is next as it not only sounds like the most original premise in the group, but also because I would love to see what Zemeckis could do with the material.